“I was born into an orthodox upper middle-class Muslim family. When I was 15, my father gave me Rs. 2000 and asked me to start a business. I ran away to my uncle’s house. I wanted to study. In the next few years, family obligations got in the way and I chose not to go abroad to study. After working as a bartender for a while (much to my father’s chagrin), I landed a job in aviation, fell in love with an air hostess, and committed myself to my work.
I got an opportunity in Kuwait and decided to take it. A week before my flight, I met my friend who asked me if I’d be willing to accompany him on a visit to his house in Andhra Pradesh. We had to leave immediately as he had to pay his sister’s college fee. One kilometre before we reached, a sand lorry reversed blind and rammed right into us. My leg got stuck in the bike but my friend got caught between the lorry’s tyres. He died that day in my arms, and I couldn’t do anything. I screamed while was taken to the hospital. My right foot had severe injuries, nerve damage and was just hanging from a small bit of skin. The doctors saved my foot but were not sure whether I would be able to walk again. When my girlfriend visited, she told me we weren’t meant to be with each other after all. I was broken. I went into depression. I attempted suicide.
It was my Ammi who saved me. Why should I live, I asked her. I had lost a friend, a girlfriend, a job, and maybe would never walk again. What was left? Why do you need someone who will only support your happiness, she replied. That day, I decided to move on. Lying in bed, immobile, I realised I had only one big regret – being unable to follow my passion for the arts. The weight of the regret was far worse than the physical pain. Post one year, when I finally walked on my feet, I decided to script a different story.
I moved to the UK to study. I worked in supermarkets and earned myself a double Masters. One day, I got introduced to the world of conceptual photography and started adding pictures to my words. I found my calling in the camera. Today, I am a photographer in Bengaluru but my father doesn’t like my profession. He has not spoken to me for over three years, but I am sure he would come around.
I also love to travel on my bike, I just returned from a Bhutan trip. After all, life has given me a second chance. Why wouldn’t I live it to the fullest?”
– Mohamed Rafi
Story By – BeingYou
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